Dredd is the second attempt to bring the exploits of Mega-City One's finest to the screen, after a disappointing attempt in 1995. Karl Urban (Eomer in LOTR and Dr McCoy in the new Trek) dons the helmet as the notorious judge to take down Ma-ma, a drug lord (Lena Headey) occupying one of Mega-City One's skyscrapers. That's all you need to know, and pretty much all there is to know. Dredd, being Dredd, has a job to do and will brook no interference.
Dredd's action scenes are brutal and unsentimental, taking great pleasure in the graphic disintegration of the human body, every bit as lovingly as in the comic. It's also laced with dark humor and a suitably mean streak. Fans of the comic will find little reason to gripe: criminals are handled with little or no mercy, and Dredd's face always stays where it should be – beneath the helmet.
Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) fights by his side, as the rookie being assessed for the job. (I assume screenwriter Alex Garland wanted to give at least one of the leads something of a character arc, because I remember a similar rookie storyline from the comic, only with a male judge.)
On release, Dredd was roundly drubbed and accused of being monotonous and taking itself too seriously, but I respectfully disagree; Dredd is a faithful adaptation, but you have to be in on the joke to enjoy it fully. Furthermore, it's not the creators' fault that that the actual world is catching up to many of the less savory aspects of the comic's prediction of the future.
I love me a savory slice of bubblegum pop, though it admittedy makes me feel old sometimes. Pop music is the domain of the young, after all: a soundtrack for the time in your life when you both have the energy to care about the minutiae of band packaging, while also lacking real concerns like paying rent or keeping your job. On the upside, changing some concerns for others behind means you can enjoy the bubblegum without worrying too much about what it says about your credibility. (For the record, I speak as a man who owns four Belinda Carlisle CD’s)
Call Me Maybe is your typically catchy number; snappy, tuneful without being too saccharine, and short enough not to wear out its welcome. The video is similarly entertaining, and while I’m sure it was focused-grouped into oblivion, Carly Rae Jepsen, a product of the Canadian Idol (according to Google), comes over as a good sport willing to poke fun at herself.
Incidentally, Ms. Jepsen is signed to Interscope, erstwhile home of other bubblegum luminaries like Helmet and Nine Inch Nails.
Here it is, my long-awaited brief look back at 2009, the last year of the first decade of the first century of the current millennium, summarized in a few key events, film and music. It’s written entirely from my own, solipsistic perspective, and as such is entirely the self-absorbed exercise it appears to be, because hey, it’s my blog! I didn’t plan to write one this year, but when fellow Twitterer @onkelivel asked if one was forthcoming, I felt compelled to accept the challenge. You should head on over to his blog (after reading this, of course) to check out some gnarly rock photography: My Scene Sucks. Anyway, let’s all get sentimental about just a little while ago: (More after the jump…)